- Live Blog: Follow The Marriott-Starwood Program Merger Announcement!
- 3 Starwood AMEX Cards In The New Marriott Program: A Comparison Chart Of The Good, The Bad, And The Horrific
- Comparison Chart: How Marriott’s August 2018 And February 2019 Award Chart Compares With The Current SPG And Marriott Award Charts
- Marriott Got Almost Everything Perfect, But The Starwood AMEX Cuts Are Just Too Painful
Yesterday I wrote about the new combined Marriott and Starwood award charts. There will be one unified chart in August when everyone’s Starpoint balance is tripled and another award chart in February 2019 when the new program with a new name is launched.
Marriott says that the majority of their 6,000+ SPG and Marriott hotels will be cheaper in August than they are now.
The August chart has 7 categories, which should map nicely with Starwood’s current 7 categories. SPG category 7 hotels like the S. Regis Bal Harbour, the S. Regis Princeville, Kauai, or the Gritti Palace Venice currently cost 30K-35K Starpoints, which is equal to 90K-105K Marriott points. Starting in August you’ll be able to reserve these hotels in the highest category for just 20K Starpoints per night or 60K points in the new program! With a 5 night stay those hotels will drop to just 16K Starpoints per night or 48K points in the new program!
SPG Category 6 hotels should also price out nicely, assuming they don’t move to the top-tier category 7 in the new program. Hotels like the Sheraton Tel Aviv,the W Hong Kong, the Westin Venice, the SLS Beverly Hills, and the W Retreat Vieques Island, Puerto Rico currently cost 20K-25K Starpoints, which is equal to 60K-75K Marriott points. Starting in August you’ll be able to reserve category 6 hotels for just 16,667 Starpoints per night or 50K points in the new program! With a 5 night stay those hotels will drop to just 13.3K Starpoints per night or 40K points in the new program!
That means now is the best time to rack up Starpoints. Currently you can earn 1 Starpoint per dollar everywhere, which is equal to 3 Marriott points. Starting in August that will be cut to just 2 Marriott points per dollar, which is equal to 0.67 Starpoints per dollar.
I’m going to focus my everyday spending on my Starwood card until then as current points will get even more valuable in the new program.
While spending on those cards becomes less valuable in August, I’ll still keep my cards to take advantage of the annual free night at hotels that cost up to 35K points.
August 2018 through January 2019 will be a great time to book current SPG hotels at bargain rates. You can even book travel for up to a year in advance and the lower rates will apply!
Starting in February 2019 some of those bargains will go away with the launch of another award chart with 8 categories. With that chart the cost per night for a top-tier hotel is 70K off peak (23.3K Starwood), 85K standard (28.3K Starwood), or 100K peak (33.3K Starwood). Those are still less than current pricing, but it’s not as big of a bargain.
But you will still be able to transfer points to more airlines than ever at the same current SPG transfer ratio, so there’s no reason not to rack up Starpoints now.
Once again, here is the current SPG chart (with pricing in Marriott points to make things comparable), the current Marriott chart, the new chart coming in August, and the new chart coming next February.
|Previous Starwood Chart||Previous Previous Marriott Chart||August 2018 Combined Chart||February 2019 Combined Chart|
|Category 1||6,000 (Weekends)|
|Category 2||9,000 (Weekends)|
|Category 3||21,000||15,000||17,500||15,000 off-peak
|Category 4||30,000||20,000||25,000||20,000 off-peak
|Category 5||36,000 off-peak|
|Category 6||60,000 off-peak|
|Category 7||90,000 off-peak|
|Category 8||-||40,000||-||70,000 off-peak
|Ritz Tier 1||-||30,000||-||-|
|Ritz Tier 2||-||40,000||-||-|
|Ritz Tier 3||-||50,000||-||-|
|Ritz Tier 4||-||60,000||-||-|
|Ritz Tier 5||-||70,000||-||-|
Which hotels will you book when the new chart launches?